Kenneth Faried says being in Houston ‘is a blessing’
Kenneth Faried’s time as an impact player in the NBA is supposed to be over. Undersized big men with no history of three-point range and limited defensive awareness, after all, are something close to dinosaurs in today’s league, where small-ball reigns supreme.
Since signing with the Houston Rockets in January, though, Faried has re-established himself as a part-time rotation player for a team with legitimate title hopes, flashing offensive skill and defensive versatility most assumed he’d never develop. How’s he doing it? As Faried told NBA.com’s Sekou Smith, he gives immense credit to Houston coach Mike D’Antoni for the “blessing” of empowering he and his teammates.
“Me being on this team is a blessing because it gave me new life to my career. People see Kenneth Faried can do this and Kenneth Faried can do that. And Houston is letting him do this and letting him do that,” Faried explained. “So I give coach D’Antoni a ton of credit for that, and a ton of respect for letting, not just me but also James Harden be who he is, Chis Paul be who he is, Clint Capela be who he is. I mean, Austin Rivers, he’s got him over here letting him be who he is after everybody thought he was down and out when he went to Washington. But he’s back on track. Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker…think about where all these guys have come from. And now you’ve got a strong group that’s confident and knows how to get the job done. A group that knows what it takes to be in this league and is going to bring the grit and heart to the floor each and every night.”
Faried signed with the Rockets on January 21st after being bought out by the Brooklyn Nets, starting at center in his second game with the team due to the injury of Clint Capela. The eight-year veteran returned to the bench upon Capela’s recovery from a broken thumb, but has remained a factor for Houston nonetheless as D’Antoni susses out his playoff rotation.
In 21 games with Houston, Faried is averaging 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds, shooting 59.3 percent from the field and an unexpected 6-of-16 from beyond the arc. He’ll be used as a backup full-time going forward, fighting for playing time with fellow veteran Nené as Houston’s lone traditional big man behind Capela.
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